The Terracotta Army is formed by the Terracotta Warriors and Horses located near Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The army belonged to Shi Huang Di the First Emperor of China. The army was discovered by chance in 1974 when several local farmers worked on drilling water well on a field near Xi’an.
What does the terracotta army comprise?
The army is formed by figures which vary in height and are all life-like and life-sized. The tallest of them are the Generals. The army includes warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. Currently it’s estimated that the army comprises over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses most of all still buried in the pits.
The emperor buried his army with him with the only purpose to serve him in the after life to rule another empire. It’s estimated that Shi Huang Di’s army was buried in 209-210 BC.
The emperor’s necropolis was built to serve as an imperial palace, complete with office, halls, walls and entrances. It is believed that the craftsmen working on the complex were all buried alive when they completed the necropolis in order to not divulge any secrets.
Studies have shows that most likely 8 head moulds were used and then clay was used to give them the individual features. After the figures were done, they were places in the pits in practice military formation according to rank and duty.
There is evidence of a big fire that burned the wooden structure of the tomb. According to the historical records, General Xiang Yu raided the tomb not long after the emperor’s death. Legend say the fire lasted for three months. Because of the incident only one statue remained intact. But despite the fire, much of the army survived in various stages of preservation.
Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses
The army in the three pits which form the museum is located outside the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum. The museum covers 16,300 sq m / 4 acres. The largest pit is Pit 1 and it was opened for the public in 1979. The first pit contains soldiers and chariots. Pit 2 comprises over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots. The last one comprises only 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses. Most of the clay figurines discovered in the pits have been restored to their former grandeur.
The museum is opened daily from 8 AM to 6 PM
High Season (Mar 1 to Nov 30): 90 Yuan
Low Season (Dec 1 to Feb 28/29): 65 Yuan